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2002 Olympic Update

DanceSport has been recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as being a sport and the International DanceSport Federation (IDSF) has been designated as the World Governing Body of that sport. The next step in DanceSport's journey to the Olympics would be for the IOC to designate DanceSport as a medal sport

The IDSF filed an application and made DanceSport presentations to the IOC asking that DanceSport be a medal sport in the 2008 summer games. On August 28, 2002 the IOC Executive Board put forth a recommendation developed by the Olympic Program Commission. That report recommended that the requests by DanceSport and 13 other sports for admission to medals status in the 2008 Olympics be denied. The board also recommended that a number of sports events, including baseball, be deleted from the medals program. The IOC may make a decision on this overall proposal when it meets in Mexico in November 2002 or may delay the decision to a later date.

This recommendation by the IOC Program Commission was a disappointment to millions of dancers all over the world who had been looking forward to 2008 in the hope that DanceSport would achieve medal status. The recommendation probably pushes forward to 2012 the earliest date DanceSport can hope for another try at gaining full Olympic status. In the meantime DanceSport will continue to participate in the World Games, which are held for Olympic recognized sports that are not yet in the medals program. DanceSport was a significant part of the 2001 World Games in Japan and will strive to achieve an even larger role in the 2005 World Games.

Here in the United States the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and the IDSF has officially recognized the United States Amateur Ballroom Dancers Association (USABDA) as the National Governing Body for DanceSport. USABDA sent two DanceSport couples to Japan to represent the United States in the 2001 World Games and will plan to send representatives to the 2005 World Games.

It should be emphasized that the recent action by the Olympic Program Commission does not deny DanceSport the opportunity to receive full medal status at a future date. While it rules out medal status in 2008 it gives a green light to DanceSport by, for the first time, setting forth specific requirements a sport must satisfy to be considered for medal status. The IDSF and its member national federations now, for the first time, know what has to be done. Our IDSF leaders believe DanceSport will soon be able to meet those requirements. Specific programs will be applied to achieve that result and to convince the IOC that DanceSport is ready for medal status.

Regardless of what may happen in the future regarding the Olympics, USABDA's principal focus, priorities and allocation of resources will continue to be on programs to create additional opportunities for individuals of all ages to participate in DanceSport and social ballroom dancing. These high priority programs will include establishing USABDA Chapters at many new locations and initiating DanceSport and social ballroom dance programs in additional colleges, high schools and elementary schools. Promoting ballroom dance and DanceSport with our youth is and will continue to be the foundation of our program to grow our sport. We will stress the participatory nature of our sport while seeking to bring the physical, mental and social benefits of dance into the lives of millions of people.

The entire IDSF article, IOC:DanceSport Is On-Track, is printed below or you may go to the IDSF website. IDSF Press Release 10/14/02 IOC:

DanceSport Is On-Track provides encouraging comments regarding the future of DanceSport in relation to the Olympics.

IDSF Press Release 10/14/02

IOC: DanceSport Is On-Track

On October 4, 2002 the President of the International DanceSport Federation(IDSF), Rudolf Baumann, and IDSF General Secretary Carlos Freitag enjoyed a lengthy meeting at the Headquarters of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Lausanne, Switzerland with IOC President Dr. Jacques Rogge and IOC Sport Director Gilbert Felli to discuss DanceSport's continuing application to be included in the Medal Programme of the Summer Olympic Games.

The mood of the meeting was very positive. President Rogge explicitly confirmed that, as suggested in the recent IOC Programme Commission Report, DanceSport fulfills all the criteria for an Olympic Medal Programme Sport.

The IOC offered encouraging and constructive suggestions regarding IDSF's candidacy for the Medal Programme, including encouragement of IDSF's television initiatives which this year will transmit televised DanceSport to 150 million homes around the world, and our ongoing campaign to increase NOC recognition of our IDSF Members.

According to Dr. Rogge and Mr. Felli, DanceSport is on the right track. The IOC has confirmed that it has given the Green Light to DanceSport, and that we simply have to continue the efforts that have brought us this far.

Johannes Biba
International DanceSport Federation (IDSF)
Communications Director
Kochgasse 9/16
A-1080 Wien, Austria
Phone: ++43 1 402 80 70
Fax: ++43 1 402 80 73

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